Food truck rally brings creative ways to beat the heat

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - It's July in the Tennessee Valley, and we have all noticed. As the sun roasted customers from overhead, the Battle of the Food Truck All Stars #4 took place Friday on Church Street.

"It's super hot," said Alex Folks. "Sweating my butt off!"

"It's too hot right now, man!" said Terrell Badie. "It's been hot all day. I had long pants on but I went back inside to change."

Misty Guzman brought her children out to enjoy the food truck rally.

"It's hot, but it's ok! We are doing ok," she said. "It's good to get out and enjoy the day."

Guzman said she dressed her children in loose clothes, and gave them some treats to keep them comfortable in the heat. We found them outside the Pepsi booth.

"Popsicles!" she said, holding up one starting to melt in her hand. "We're staying hydrated, rolling our sleeves up."

Badie also knew just what to do: "Grab some drinks for the kids, some food."

But selling that food in the heat is another matter. It can get sweltering in a food truck, where the cooktops are blazing and the steam is abundant.

"You think it's hot outside? Try working in one of these things!" said Dennis Gillespie, owner and operator of The Back Alley Traveling Bistro. "Food truckers are pretty good at this. Lots and lots of cold water. We stay away from sugar," he said.

He mentioned there are also fans inside the truck to rotate the "cooler" air from outside.  They also take breaks as needed.

"We switch around. Everybody rotates," Gillespie explained.

The hot sun is also a death sentence for cold treats that melt easily. At Regale Cupcakery, the bakers have a special tactic to keep delicate frosting just right.

"We make our frusting a little thicker just to account for when it melts down a little bit," said owner and baker Travonee Simelton. "It becomes that perfect consistency. We even try to go with cooler flavors as well."

Simelton says it's the middle of the summer, and he knows there is more to come.

"August is coming," he laughed. "You have to know how to prepare for it."

As the Big Spring Park ducks took a splash in the water, people camped out in the shade of the trees in the grass. And Lauren Pruit thought about cooler days to come: "I'm excited for it to be a little cooler!" she said.